To Play or Not To Play – Kenya 7s What Next?
Before we start, click here to listen to a voice note I received, to the Kenya 7s, from a very concerned fan.
We are less than a week away to the opening legs of the 2016/17 sevens season and the Kenya 7s are on strike claiming unpaid bonuses from the previous season. I know what you are saying, nothing new, we have been there, done that, but no!
Go slows over unpaid allowances are nothing new to Kenyan sport let alone Kenya rugby. There was the Simbas just before the Hong Kong game, well the Simbas every year since time really, it gets worse when you look at other sports. The Kenya 7s during Paul Treu’s time and on and on. This time however things at the clay house seem to be a bit thicker than we are used to.
If you are around these here rugby circles, this story has been the only thing on your WhatsApp groups, timelines and news feeds. Let me catch you up to the best of my ability.
So where are we? The Kenya 7s are on strike over unpaid bonuses, key to note the word bonuses, not salaries, bonuses in the region of 20 Million Kenya shillings depending on who you listen to. These bonuses were accumulated last season, yes that season where we won in Singapore then the world stopped, some of us are yet to move on.
Who should pay these bonuses and why haven’t they paid? Well two words, Kenya Airways. This is a long story and changes quite drastically depending on who is telling it. Basic of it is, in the previous engagement with KQ, the union had entered into an agreement to pay the side bonuses pegged on their performances.
When the rain started pounding KQ, something else was signed with lower salaries and higher bonuses, or something of the sort. The who signed part is really funny..I’d rather not go into it.
But Sportpesa has money, I mean, it is in their name, si they just pay and we move on? From what we hear, they have no problem paying, only that it will be deducted from that 605 Million pool. The union apparently, isn’t quite ready to withdraw from that account yet.
Another story is that the government paid those bonuses, that one is quashed by another that says they only paid for Olympics.
So where does that leave us? The union is trying to negotiate with the players on a payment plan, some say they have offered 3M others 5M, the general story is that money has been offered but the players have refused to take it.
Other reports suggest the union is looking to assemble a makeshift squad to at least play in Dubai and Cape town, as they negotiate with the big boys. There are a lot of reports, stay with me there are a bit more…
Aaargh why don’t just forget this 7s thing basi, we fired Benja we won’t win anything either way, right? Forgetting this 7s thing is not a path we would want to go down, trust me and by the way get over Benja already, thanks!
So what next? I’ll leave that to you to decide, but one thing is for sure, hapa pia ni kama makosa imetendeka. Going forward the players should re-look getting into a player’s union, I know efforts to come up with one have been frustrated before but this time I believe you lot are much sharper.